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Father Muench Says...

Inspired by the words of a prayer

February 2, 2022

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Often, as I am celebrating a Mass and speaking the words of a prayer, the words of that prayer touch me in a very special way. I think myself, “I could write a whole column about the words of this prayer.” Here is one:

“Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love, and in your kindness make those you have nourished by this one heavenly Bread one in mind and heart. Through Christ our Lord.”

This is the Prayer after Communion for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. The focus of this prayer is seeking the Lord’s help to make our whole parish and community united “in mind and heart.” – united in mind that these people who are praying with me at this Mass will join in planning something special for the parish, and that the parish – united in love – will do something for those who need help and care, something inspired by the Lord.

In this prayer, the congregation asks for the Lord’s wisdom and strength, and inspiration to act together. We have joined together as one family at the altar of the Lord for Eucharist. This Eucharist not only feeds each one of us, but it also gives us the strength and the power to do something for those in need, to do something that is inspired by our God.

I am certain you and I could think of examples right now – possibly something to help those in need; possibly a way to transform the parish as a caring community. The inspiration for such would come to is through an inspiration from the Lord through a special gift given us through our sharing in the Blessed Eucharist.

This particular prayer serves also as a reminder as we pray together. We ask God to transform us through the prayer of the Blessed Eucharist and to make each of us a new person in the Lord, truly more alive, a more powerful disciple of the Lord. We ask this because we have been nourished and strengthened by the Blessed Eucharist. The Eucharist is such a transforming sacrament for us.

As we pray this prayer, we ask Our Lord to truly pour on each of us the Spirit of his love. We pray that the Lord will make us new and stronger than ever before. This is the task of the Holy Spirit. We pray that we may become a people so that the Spirit makes our parish all that it can and should be – to make our world a better place.

Our prayer asks God to literally pour the Spirit upon us that we may be transformed by the Holy Spirit. We pray that the Holy Spirit will give us the power of God’s love so that we will be enflamed as followers of the Lord. We pray because we want the strength to do so many things for the Lord, so that we will be alive with the Wisdom of our God, knowing what should be done and that we are filled with God’s love and ready to accomplish so much.

And our prayer mentions one more thing: we pray to the Lord to treat us with kindness. We have asked the Lord to love us, to give us Spirit. Now we ask for kindness. Of course, what does this kindness mean here? Being kind, showing gratitude, doing service, being respectful, noticing the good things that others do, giving time to someone else. The Lord seeks that we recognize God’s kindness so that we can be transformed into the Spirit of Kindness and live our Christian lives in that Spirit of Kindness. We ask God to be kind and to teach us to be alive in the kindness of the Lord. In this way, we pray that God will make our lives so much better and that our community is ready to do something good and powerful as God leads us with kindness.

The words of our prayer are such a powerful dedication to our God and a readiness to act now.

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